Photo: Steven Stuts
Bridal showers are a fun, ladies-only way to celebrate your upcoming wedding, whether it's with friends, family, or a combination of the two. It's traditionally hosted by the maid of honor or bridesmaids, though your mom or future mother-in-law may step in to put together a special gathering. If your families live in different parts of the country, or you, your fiancé and your friends live farther from home, you might end up with a few separate celebrations to make sure everyone is included. But how many is too many? Here's what our experts have to say about finding the perfect balance.
While a bride shouldn't get too involved in the planning of her shower (and might not even know about it until she shows up!), you'll still want to make sure everyone knows who's hosting, when, and where. Say you're from the East Coast, he's from the Midwest, and you met (and live) out West. You could end up with as many as three showers to include both of your families, as well as your close friends from different parts of the country. And as long as your family and wedding party know they're not obligated to attend all three celebrations (and you've got the time to travel from place to place), it's well within reason.
The challenge with multiple bridal showers arises when it becomes a scheduling conflict. If you can schedule more than one event per trip (like a bridal shower the same weekend you're home to go dress shopping with your mom, for example), you'll get more bang for your buck — and really up the celebration factor! If your bridal party is spread out across multiple states, see if you can schedule your bridal shower as a Saturday morning brunch, then transition into a Saturday night bachelorette party. They might not be able to make the shower your mother-in-law is hosting in your groom's hometown, but they'll be there for at least one of your celebrations.
If you get the feeling that there's too much piling up on the schedule, or find out that your mom and your childhood best friend are both planning hometown showers, communicate clearly with everyone involved. If they want to keep the shower(s) a surprise, facilitate the exchange of contact information, then let your gals take over from there. More than one shower that will have essentially the same guest list can definitely be combined, adding whoever didn't make both lists to make sure everyone's invited. And remember: Anyone invited to your shower gets a wedding invitation, too, so share that with the shower planners early on.